Utah Governor Spencer Cox Weekly Newsletter - August 5, 2022

Government and Politics

August 8, 2022

From: Utah Governor Spencer Cox

Happy Friday from #OneUtah, a weekly update from the office of Gov. Spencer J. Cox. Here’s your recap of what we did this week, what's on the horizon, and more.

Celebrating our centenarians 

Utah's centenarians are inspiring and valuable role models. We owe each one of them a debt of gratitude for their service and their accomplishments, and this week we were so excited to attend our first, in-person centenarian celebration after two years of cancellations!

It’s always an honor to meet members of Utah’s most exclusive club. Our guests of honor have been instrumental in shaping our state’s culture, legacy, history and people. They have witnessed historic changes that the rest of us will only read about in history books. 

We can all learn from our centenarians, and we were happy to proclaim Aug. 4, 2022, Centenarian Day in Utah. Please join us in honoring these remarkable individuals and their stories, which you can read more about here.

Federal changes to Title IX

We’re deeply concerned that President Joe Biden's reinterpretation of Title IX will only inflame and polarize the debate, so this week we sent a letter outlining our concerns.

First, we believe that sensitive and contentious areas of policy are best left to states, where different populations will come to different conclusions and solutions. In our own discussions in Utah over how to manage school policies related to gender identity and sexual orientation, we’ve tried to turn down the temperature and look for common ground between opposing sides. 

Second, the levers the president has chosen, particularly through the USDA guidance, are unrelated to the debates over gender identify and sexual orientation. The president’s policy changes may put access to important food security programs such as school lunch and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the crosshairs of an unrelated debate. 

We strongly encourage the president to work more collaboratively with states to find solutions. Read our entire letter to the president here.

Addressing drought in the West 

Because the drought continues and reliable, clean water is essential to our quality of life and continued prosperity, we’re continuing to share ways in which the state is working to conserve water and plan for a drier future. This week, we’re talking about water storage.

The people who settled Utah’s arid mountain valleys and western states knew that we must store water. Different-sized reservoirs are located throughout the state. Small reservoirs store about one year’s worth of water, while larger reservoirs, like Strawberry or Jordanelle, store several years’ worth. Reservoir storage helps to prevent water shortages and is dependent on snowpack and runoff.

Because the amount of water Mother Nature delivers varies from year to year, it’s important to have reservoirs to store water in years when there’s an abundance so it’s available during dry years. With 100% of the state currently in drought and less water in our streams and reservoirs, Utah is currently relying on stored water from past years. Reservoirs are functioning as designed — but we don’t know how long the current drought will last.

Thankfully, there’s been an influx of funding for that type of infrastructure, like HB37. Storing water above ground and underground will make a big difference in preserving water resources.

Dinner with the delegation

This week First Lady Abby and I were honored to host Utah’s Congressional representatives as well as Lt. Gov. Henderson and Second Gentleman Gabe at the Governor’s Mansion. We discussed their work on public land management, air quality, gun policy, economic development, infrastructure policy, and so much more.

Thank you to Reps. Owens, Curtis, Stewart, and Moore for taking the time to meet with us and for serving Utahns so well. Keep up the good work in Congress!

How Utahns helped launch the James Webb Space Telescope

The world recently saw a glimpse of something we’ve never seen before: the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the early universe ever taken. And it was all thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope.

This is a magnificent achievement, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of several Utahns — all of whom deserve some recognition:

-- Working with NASA nearly 20 years ago, Materion engineered a special grade of gas-atomized beryllium from a mineral mine at Spor Mountain in Juab County to construct the telescope.

-- Moxtek collaborated with 4D Technology in Arizona to develop a wire-grid pixelated polarizer used to measure the flatness and quality of the telescope’s mirrors..

-- Northrop Grumman worked with then Magna-based aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK to build the backplane structure that holds the telescope’s mirrors and optical instruments in place.

This administration joins the world in celebrating the science that brought us this incredible imagery. Read more about the incredible work done here.

Golfing with governors

It was such an honor to join two of Utah’s favorite governors, Gov. Herbert and Gov. Leavitt, at this year’s Utah Championship.

Both of these leaders made such an impact on this state, building the foundation of a strong economy, creating processes and systems that improved state government, and implementing policies that improved people’s lives. We’re grateful for their mentorship and for all they’ve done for this great state.

We also had the opportunity to congratulate Tony Finau on his recent wins! We’re so proud of his success and wish him all the best.

Thanks to Jeff Robbins, the Utah Sports Commission and organizers of this extraordinary event. We’re lucky to have the Korn Ferry Tour and the strong legacy of golf champions here in Utah.

Fish are friends – and food

Not long after she cast her line, Lt. Gov. Henderson reeled one in on Wednesday – and sure, it helped that she was visiting Spring Lake Trout Farm in Payson. 

Owned and operated by Robert Judd, the historic fish farm is one of just three privately owned facilities that can sell live fish in Utah. We appreciate Lt. Gov. Henderson, Sen. Derrin Owens, Rep. Doug Welton, and Commissioners Dennis Blackburn and Darin Bushman for touring the hatchery’s recently upgraded facilities to learn about the challenges facing private aquaculture in the state.

Spotlighting Utah’s ‘Spirit of Service’

In our inaugural Governor’s Spirit of Service Award Ceremony, we recently recognized the outstanding service that Utahns are doing throughout the state. Each week, we’ll highlight one of these unsung heroes. This week, we’re highlighting Emily Rojo Mendoza.

Emily tutors fellow Kearns HS students, helps at food banks, serves as the president of the My Kearns Evidence 2 Success Youth Council, has raised thousands of dollars for the local food pantries and the homeless youth resource center.

Read more about Emily and the other honorees here.

Supporting Local: Monkeywrench

We love supporting Utah’s local businesses — especially when it comes to food. Team Utah recently stopped by Monkeywrench in downtown SLC, and it was delicious! 

Admittedly, Team Utah loves its ice cream, and it was exciting to try something new! Not sure where to start? We’d recommend the s’mores, lemon bar, and budderfinger flavors. 

We love to see our local businesses thriving. Let us know what your favorite local restaurant is here!


We’re always grateful to spend some time with Utah’s National Guard. These service members work tirelessly to keep all Utahns safe, and we’re lucky to have them. 

Nominations for the Lieutenant Governor’s Public Service Award are open until Aug. 15. If you know someone whose public service deserves recognition, nominate them here.

They’re annoying, they’re frequent, and they’re responsible for billions lost from consumers: robocalls. Utah is now joining a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to investigate and stop these calls. Learn more here.

The Affordable Connectivity Program through the FCC can help qualified applicants save $30 per month towards their internet service. Learn more and apply at www.fcc.gov/acp.

Coming up

Aug. 5: We’ll be at one of our favorite Utah traditions: The Payson City Salmon Supper.

Aug. 9: Tune into “Direct Link: Live on-the-air with Gov. Spencer Cox,” a call-in radio program that lets rural Utahns speak directly with us. Show starts at 6 p.m.

Aug. 9: Have a question for us? Now's your chance to ask! Join us for a live town hall at 7 p.m. You can watch on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, and you can ask your questions live or submit them here: https://bit.ly/UTTownHall8922

Aug. 10: We’ll be talking to Utah’s young leaders at the High School Student Council Presidents Town Hall. Stay tuned for more information!

Get involved!

Looking for a new job opportunity? From great employee benefits to versatile work schedules, the career opportunities with the state are truly endless. Join Team Utah today

Those looking to volunteer can also consider more than 300 boards and commissions. Find out which openings are available and how you can get involved here!

Get in touch!

You can reach the Governor's Office here. And you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube for the latest news and updates.

Contact the Governor's Office